I took time out from this conversation for a moment, feeling... I wasn't quite sure what I was feeling. Fact: my sister had slept with my boyfriend. Fact: I was in my early twenties then and considered Rowan the love of my life. Fact: which he wasn't, of course. He was basically a boy then, with me still being daddy's little girl. It was all messed up.
Fact remained: my sister broke my trust. Fact too: Rowan broke my heart and I didn't know why then. It had haunted me. He had had sex with my sister and had felt so guilty about it he'd broken up with me. Or he'd found out that she was better in bed, or that if he could sleep with another woman he really wasn't that much in love with me. None of which really mattered now, but it would have mattered then. Just knowing, you know.
Now I knew. On the eve before my sister's wedding when she accused me of shamelessly flirting with her future husband to get back at her for sleeping with Rowan. But I hadn't known. And to my knowledge, I also hadn't flirted. I was being sisterly. Of course, I've never had a brother before. A drunk and rather thouchy-feely brother at that. But it was probably me, yeah... like always.
I figured it was time for a different kind of truth now. I took a deep breath, noticing that it sounded like a sigh. I've had too much to drink as well, everyone had.
"Honey," I said. She looked at me with slightly unfocused eyes as if remembering now that we were having a conversation. What had it been about again? Ah yes, memory lit up her eyes.
"Honey, I didn't know about Rowan. But thanks for telling me, you little skank." She was about to say something in return, but I lifted a finger and since I had miscalculated the distance between us it very nearly ended up in her nose. I pulled my hand back a little, she her head. She swayed and I just grabbed her in time for her to not fall off her stool.
"It's been fifteen years, I know. So, let's forget about it, yeah?"
She nodded, probably already forgetting what we were going to forget about.
"Second," I continued a list I hadn't properly begun. "I was NOT, I repeat, NOT flirting with Martin. In fact... there's someone in my life who's way beyond Martin, so much better. I mean, in looks and personality. Even job and money, I mean, don't wanna brag, but, yeah, the real deal. And so, so fucking HOT."
"Yeah, right," Mindy scoffed.
I looked at her, squinting. Her face was disbelieving. Not sure, if she resisted what she considered a tale about a boyfriend, or that he was hot. Well, she was right in that there was no boyfriend. I smiled a little smile and realized she took it as a bait.
"All right, show a picture. Pics or it didn't happen, sis!"
Oh, I had pictures. Quite a fancy lot of them. And they sure showed the whole beautiful story, but was Mindy ready for this? Did I care if she was?
Nah, didn't. I pulled out my phone, sitting up straighter, suddenly confident. They're not kidding when they're talking of liquid courage, you guys. I opened my picture folder and didn't have to scroll long before finding the beginning of that beautiful story: a picture taken in secret at our first date. From there it only got better and more beautiful.
I gave Mindy my phone.
She looked at the picture. "Who's the chick?" she asked. She didn't wait for an answer and I didn't give one as she kept on going through the folder. At some point, her expression changed. She'd found one where we kissed most likely. She went on. "What the...?"
I smiled to myself, mentally going through those pictures myself like reliving the first few months of the deepest, most fulfilling relationship I've ever had. And coming across some nudes. What?! Shit!
I snatched my phone back, but it was too late. She'd seen the nudes, she'd seen some kissing and even groping. I blushed, but still smiled. Yeah, I was in love. Yeah, I was in love with a woman. And no way, I was gonna flirt with Mindy's future husband, 'cause he was so not Cammi. He was more like the exact opposite of Cammi, a negative to her positive. You get the picture.
And so had Mindy, obviously. "You're a dyke now?"
"I prefer lesbian, but yeah, I'm dating a beautiful, headstrong woman..."
"I was just saying?" Mindy blushed.
"Anyway, she's... we're very happy."
"Why isn't she here then? The invitation said you and guest, you coulda brought her."
She was right about that. And I did feel bad about telling Cam that I couldn't bring her because I wasn't out to my family. It hit me like a kick in the stomach, but how much worse had Cammi felt when I'd told her? God, I was a lousy girlfriend!
"I didn't want to make your wedding about my relationship, and you know how mom would have reacted. I decided to... put it off till after the wedding."
Mindy looked at me for a moment. Then she nodded. "Well, thank you," she said and I could see it was hard for her. Thanking me. She was actually agreeing with my decision, telling me how bad a decision it had been. I slid off my stool, grabbing my purse.
"I need to go," I said. I was already going over what I would say to mom and dad, how I would explain who I was in love with. And then I would call Cammi and she would come and meet the family. Because that was how it was supposed to be. It would all be good, just as soon as I righted my wrongs.
My legs felt wobbly as I stepped into the cool night air and hailed a cab. It wasn't just the alcohol, I felt almost sober now that I was doing what I had put off for half a year now. The thought of my outing frightened me, but not as much as the thought of losing Cam over the stupid decisions I'd made. She was my life, my family, my love. How could I have ever been so stupid as to gamble with it?
She had to be here with me. She had to be at my sister's wedding. Not for Mindy, or my parents, for family, but for us. What we were. A couple going to a stupid wedding of a stupid relative. 'Cause that's what couples do.